Baan Dek

Saul Diaz


Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?

I recently moved to the fantastic, friendly city of Sioux Falls, to take over as primary teacher. I was born and raised in Mexico where I got my training at the International Training Centre of Morelia. I was very lucky to have an AMI training centre in the city where I was living so I didn’t need to travel as many of my classmates did.

It’s hard at the beginning to move leaving your family behind to start from scratch, but I love adventures and I’ve found amazing and very supportive people in Sioux Falls that have made my experience very positive. I strongly believe that things are meant to be in life. It also signifies a big step for me for personal growth.

I am very interested in learning more about Montessori, especially how the brain and mind develop in the first years of life. I have always compared an educator’s career as someone working in the health field because you never stop learning, every child is different, also every school year is going to be different than last year and the year before. You are always going to be facing new challenges.

My dream would be to become a Montessori teacher trainer.

Q: How were you first introduced to Montessori?

My father was a jack-of-all-trades in a Montessori school where he worked for many years, one day I paid a quick visit at his work and the moment I entered one of the primary classroom I was astonished by the beauty and the perfection of every detail, it was like every single object had a voice calling on you to be manipulated.

Q: What was it about Montessori that resonated with you?

Personally I never had good experiences while learning math when I was in elementary school, unfortunately for me I learned not to like mathematics at all not to mention algebra or anything related to it. Then as time went on I discovered that I actually enjoyed math and I just never had good guidance. So when I discovered the Montessori method I felt mad for not having an education akin to the Montessori approach. If more schools/teachers were open to different teaching methods, I am 100% sure it would have a significant impact in a child’s life.

Q: What brought you to Baan Dek?

Last year I was working in hospitality near Cancun, and during the summer I went back home and decided to take with me my albums from my training to refresh all the learned, somehow I knew in my heart that I needed to be ready in case I had the opportunity to come back to work in Montessori. 8 months later I met a nice guest at the hotel where I was working for where I told her about my desire to come back to work in a montessori environment again, she was related to June (founder of Baan Dek) and the rest is history . I strongly believe that every person’s destiny lies in our hands.

Q: What is your favorite part of your day at Baan Dek?

Every day is different in the classroom, you couldn’t say that one day is similar to the another, the children can surprise you daily, but if I have to choose my favorite part of the day I would say that the lectures during the gathering with books that children bring from home or from the public library about science or their favorite topics, it’s great to see how much interest they put when it comes to reading for them. English is not my first language and in a very kind way they help me to improve my pronunciation while reading for them.

Q: What is your favorite life quote?
“The most important things in life aren’t things.” Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.” Maria Montessori
“Don’t hope for a life without problems, there’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.” Mark Manson

Q: What is your favorite color?

You can’t go wrong with navy blue.

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?

Since I was a child I loved spending time watching Art cinema, I am a big fan of movies and when I was little used to collect many of them. I always enjoy going out for dinner to outdoor places. Reading a good book gives you immense peace and serenity. During vacations traveling abroad is definitely my favorite thing in the world, it’s vital, it opens your mind, it’s like reading a book.

Q: What is your favorite animal and why?

Lions, there are many interesting facts about them, they do not fear any other creature in the wild, regardless of how big or small it is. After lions eat their “one big meal” (40 kg meat or more), it can survive for over one week without food. In addition, a lion’s roar can be heard from 8 kilometers away. There is definitely much more than meets the eye about these “big cats”.

Q: What’s a fun fact about your life?

I never wanted to be a teacher, but the day I was invited to attend a Montessori talk for parents by Elizabeth Gutierrez, Montessori trainer, I discovered that it was something I wanted to do for a lifetime,I came across of new ways of teaching that actually weren’t new because they had been there for more than 100 years, so this would be my self tiny contribution for education. Maria Montessori said that if there is a hope of salvation and help for humanity, it can only come from the child, because in him man is built.

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